Dhonburi and Bangkok Styles
After the destruction of Ayutthaya, King Taksin founded his new capital of Dhonburi on the right bank of the Menam. In 1782 Rama I transferred the seat of government to the other bank of the river; the modern Bangkok.
The new city was meant to reproduce as far as possible the briliance of Ayutthuya. Splendid monasteries and palaces were to preserve the memory of ancient glories. The style of building remained as it had been in the old capital. Only later did Chinese influence make itself felt. Acquaintance with European buildings, especially the British colonial style, shows itself in buildings with European neo-classical elements. In the Grand Palace complex in Bangkok one can see side by side buildings of all periods since the foundation of the city. A typical example of the combination of western and Thai elements is the Chakri Palace, built in the second half of the 19th century by a British architect. King Rama II’s palace at Phetchaburi shows a similar mingling of European and Asiatic styles.
In sculpture the post Ayutthaya period produced no new style. The sacred buildings were adorned with old Buddha figures which were brought in thousands from the decaying temples in Ayutthayaand Sukhothai to Bangkok. For new pieces the person commissioning them named the style in which he wanted them carried out. And so the sculptural work of the period was restricted to statuettes, Brahman deities mounted on their animals, scenes from the Buddha’s life, bas-reliefs with episodes from the Ramakien, etc.